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Author Topic: Worried About Heart!  (Read 1046 times)

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Offline fearnot

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2013, 10:20:56 AM »
Nobody with anxiety should be drinking alcohol if they can't cope with the symptoms. Why? Well, drinking alcohol temporarily raises serotonin levels in a burst, then lowers them. Trying to counter the sedative affects of alcohol, while you think you're relaxing, the nervous system actually puts the body into a state of hyperactivity. Along with a drop in blood sugar and dehydration (alcohol acts as a diuretic), this can cause palpitations, dizziness, confusion, nervousness, muscle weakness, shaking and sleep deprivation. Alcohol circulates in your system for around 12 hours... yeah, been through that experience a few too many times myself. Not fun.

Good news that your heart is normal from the recent ECGs. Actually, anxiety releases chemicals in your body during palpitations to protect your heart.. no damage happening. I had the same symptoms as you at 23, and 7 years later, even after literally days of non-stop palpitations, I'm still here and OK :D

If you want to look after your heart better, eat Omega-3 in the form of fish oils. You're doing Paleo, so that should be helping, right?
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2013, 07:42:26 PM »
Thanks for your response, fearnot. I stopped drinking alcohol altogether (it's off the Paleo diet anyway). I can have a drink or two (not more than that) every now and then but for now, I'll just be alcohol-free. I've been taking omega-3 fish oil capsules three times a day (what's recommended on the label). Paleo is helping. I also had a stress test and that was normal.

Let's just summarize this: I've had 3 EKGs, a chest x-ray and a stress test - ALL have come up normal. I think I can relax now!

I'm exercising regularly now (I was afraid for a while for fear that my heart would act up or something), especially since I got my HR up to 180 during the stress test and I was fine (and I'm a runner and never have had any issues during a race).

The main symptoms I have are brain fog (Paleo is helping this), dry eyes (it's frigidly cold here in Chicagoland), fatigue (weather/stress), tingling and sometimes some pain in my mid-back (not sure why that happens a lot), weight loss (most likely caused by Paleo, anxiety and exercise), and heart "flops" and very minor chest pains.
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Offline fearnot

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2013, 10:11:32 AM »
Besides the anxiety symptoms that creep up, I'm sure you're perfectly healthy. So yes, you can relax now. None of your main symptoms sounds anywhere near life-threatening. In fact, I've had all of them too, and eh, the heart flops are annoying but just remember whenever they happen that they're just normal and boring really. Taking slower, deep breaths helps them clear.

Also, I get it in my neck and shoulders, so you might hold a lot of tension in your back and shoulders. I suppose there's stretches you could do to release it.

I'm eat primal, but I know that going paleo has its own side-effects too when you start from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. More brain fog, anxiety, fatigue.. but I know that soon clears too.
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2014, 11:52:27 AM »
Thanks everyone. Just for the record, I'm 23 years old, 5'9", 150 lbs, somewhat athletic build, have a very healthy blood pressure, eat healthier than most people I know around my age, have never had any major health problems, and I exercise pretty regularly. I just got really scared when I had heart palpitations and tachycardia as my only hangover symptom on three separate occasions for 12 hours straight each. I've had all of these tests and they're normal. 2014 is going to be my first alcohol-free year.
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2014, 10:23:33 AM »
Hey guys,
Just an update since it's been a while. I had another ER visit (in mid-March)...this time because I woke up with heart palps/tachycardia, shortness of breath, and dizziness. They did a full check-up on me. Ruled out heart issues. Said I had a panic attack. I had NO IDEA that panic attacks could be that scary. I had taken 2 Xanax when it happened and it seemed to work (of course when I had already arrived at the hospital). The reason I had the attack is because I was terrified of flying to Washington, D.C. and with all the talk about the missing Malaysian jet, I internalized it all. HOWEVER, I STILL flew to D.C. and had an enjoyable trip there and back with NO Xanax! I'm definitely making progress on coping and identifying my triggers. Since then, I've been okay but as of last week, I've been waking up with tachycardia again. I eat the MOST heart-healthy diet you can imagine since I've been going through all of this but am still worried that I'm doing bad damage to my heart (even as a 24-year-old healthy male). Anyone have any more assurance/encouragement? I pray about this DAILY. I even cried just to get some emotion out on the way to work this morning.
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Offline wegngis

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2014, 11:38:54 AM »
Thanks for the update.  I wasn't familiar with your story, but I read the previous posts and got up to speed.  I can really relate to your struggles, even down to the D.C. flight (mine is coming up this fall, I've already got an Ativan prescription ready to go  :laugh3:).  I still wake up in the night with pounding heartbeats, shortness of breath....all that.  What I've learned to do is tell myself, "Well, this is that same anxiety beast that's plaguing me.  They are symptoms only, not indicative of anything wrong other than anxiety."  Truth be told, that anxiety energy will find a way out, whether that's through laughing, crying, stressing, muscle aches, headaches, nausea, twitching, heart palpitations, etc.  We are like sponges that can only hold 'so much' and after that point we start to leak.  They key for me has been identifying the beast and learning how to work with it's symptoms.

I have had many tests on my heart.  EKG's, blood work, echocardiograms, stress tests, 30-day event monitors.  It all checks out.  I will say that I was first diagnosed with atrial fibrillation about 20 years ago.  I've had my heart go into "afib" twice, and let me tell you, there's no mistaking when it does.  It's not subtle, there's no wondering, "Am I in afib or not?"  Meaning, even though your situation makes you feel like you're dying, you're not.  The reason I'm telling you this is that simply having a fast heartbeat does not indicate trouble (as long as you've been cleared otherwise) and even IF something were to be found, it doesn't mean it's going to kill you.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2014, 10:04:53 AM »
Thanks wegngis. I just keep having thoughts of "what if I get a heart condition or cancer from anxiety?" I've heard that anxiety with heart palps/tachycardia can wreak havoc on the heart and harden the arteries. I also know that a higher resting heart rate can increase the risk of heart disease. I eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free, refined/added sugar-free, lean meats only, water & tea only diet and take organic flaxseed oil capsules 3 times a day. I also eat a lot of veggies and go running on a weekly basis (as hard as that can be sometimes). Maybe I'm being too obsessive but I just don't want to get heart disease. My dad has had heart issues and my grandpa died from congestive heart failure. It only really seems that they had it because they weren't very active or ate very healthy (I eat WAY healthier than my entire family!). It's just frustrating when my resting HR is high and I get this tachycardia/heart so often. I want to be physically and mentally healthy; and be free of this stupid worry/hypochondria! I've never had a holter monitor or echocardiogram because the doctor says I don't need it (I've had EKGs, chest X-Ray, stress EKG test, blood work and all have been normal) which frustrates me. It's hard to let it go I suppose.
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Offline wegngis

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2014, 11:43:06 AM »
I eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free, refined/added sugar-free, lean meats only, water & tea only diet

Me too!  I changed my diet about 15 months ago.  No regrets, I love it.

As far as "letting go" I totally, completely 100% get it.  It's really a day-by-day thing we have to battle through.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

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